Recent flossing study, is it time to hang up your floss?

The recent news about an AP study which concluded that flossing your teeth was not beneficial has been an hot topic for dentists and dental patients recently. I think you could almost feel the collective sigh of relief from the multitudes who are not fond of flossing their teeth. That flossing study I believe has caused many people to finally have what they consider to be a valid excuse to not floss. But, is this truly a study that we could base our oral and systemic health on?

There have been many conversations had about this flossing study in the news in my Victoria, TX dental office recently. If people on TV are saying it there must be some validity, right? The answer in this case is 100% WRONG.

Lets forget about the AP study for a moment and just apply common sense logic here. Would anyone reading this article disagree that brushing your teeth is vitally important and that if someone stopped brushing then bad things would happen to their teeth such as cavities, root canals, gum disease, etc? Right, that is blatantly obvious to anyone who can read this. OK, now what if I asked you what would happen if someone decided that they were just going to brush the right side of their mouth and leave the left alone. You would agree that those same bad dental problems would affect the side that they did not brush. So if brushing removes plaque and the bacteria in it from the surface of the teeth by the action of the brush rubbing against it would you not also agree that flossing removes the same plaque bacteria film that is between the teeth? Therefore, flossing is equivalent to brushing between your teeth. Why would you leave a large portion of your teeth “unbrushed”? The answer is, you would not unless you did not care about plaque causing decay and gum disease on those surfaces.

So, basically we have boiled this down in the simplest way that we can and I think you get the point. We could go into greater detail about the deleterious systemic consequences of periodontal disease that can be directly related to poor oral hygiene such as not flossing. Periodontal disease leads to whole body inflammation, heart disease, atherosclerosis, low preterm birth weights and whole host of serious disease. So why would you not floss, I think after reading this it is obvious that you should floss. And, maybe not always be quick to believe everything that you hear in the news.

If you have questions about your oral health or undiagnosed oral conditions that could lead to systemic disease, please call my Victoria, TX dental office for an appointment at 361-573-7722.


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